National News

IT’S A BAD DEAL, PARLIAMENT APPROVES TERMINATION OF VINCI COFFEE AGREEMENT

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Coffee farmers and local exporters have the last laugh after Parliament last night voted to terminate the controversial deal that had given a single company exclusive rights to buy the country’s coffee.

After two-and a-half hours of a bipartisan debate, the House chaired by Speaker Anita Among adopted the Trade committee recommendation to have the deal the government signed with Uganda Vinci Coffee Limited terminated in public interest. 

The House based their decision on mainly three major reasons; the deal contravened multiple sections of law; the company doesn’t have financial capacity to undertake the project, and lacks a valid investment license.

The lawmakers across the political spectrum also noted that the company linked to Italian investor Enrica Pinetti, who signed the controversial deal as a witness, doesn’t qualify for generous waivers. 

The House resolved that officials who committed the government to such illegalities should be penalized as a deterrent mechanism to stop similar occurrences in future.   

Mwine Mpaka, the Trade committee chairperson, indicated that whereas President Museveni was in complete agreement with most of the findings of the report, he was against the termination of the contract and strongly recommended that a review of the agreement between Vinci and government of Uganda be done in not more three months.

The review proposal was however ignored, with the majority of the lawmakers insisting that it was a bad deal for the country. 

Meanwhile, the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka has expressed the government’s commitment to review and take action concerning the coffee report made by the Trade committee.

In his communication, Kiryowa promised to engage the government and report back to parliament within six months as recommended by the Trade committee.

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